Your morning shower routine doesn’t typically involve staring intently at soap labels; that is unless you have a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap handy... and a little time to kill. You can pick up this aptly named “Magic Soap” at a variety of Denver area retailers including: Whole Foods, Sunflower Market, Vitamin Cottage and even the Army Surplus Store in old town Englewood. What you’ll find is a reasonably priced bottle of liquid concentrate and a lifetime of thoughtful, if not eccentric, prose.
“God's Law uniting mankind in All-One-God-Faith! For centuries man struggles half asleep, half living, small & jealous, bickering with mountains of red tape to awakened, the night God chose giving His great reward for hard work: Poetry, uniting Love, evolving man above the ape! Machine age man is full of sense & nonsense, fear, greed & jealousy destroy his every land; today, the whole wide world craves love-faith-courage, united by the Moral ABC we stand!”
~Dr. E.H. Bronner
While Emmanuel H. Bronner might not be considered a New Thought Practitioner, the man was a visionary in the New Thought concept of All-One-God-Faith, and the idealism of Buckminster Fuller through the unification of “Spaceship Earth”. The self-declared PhD was born in Germany in 1908, to a Jewish soap making family, and carried on the tradition after immigrating to the United States in 1929.
After marrying and starting a family in the States, Bronner began a one-man crusade, preaching his own understanding of a variety of religious modalities that he called "The Moral ABC." The ABC became the wildly vehement messages found on each bottle of his Magic Soap, culminating in the main message that we're all one people; united in one-god-faith, with the "All-One!" mantra. Holding this to be his life’s mission, it cost him his first wife (she died in an asylum), his freedom and credibility (He was placed in an asylum himself, which he later escaped), and his family, after abandoning his children for the sake of saving mankind. Bronner moved to California in 1948 and found the best way to spread his words in the production of his master soap maker recipes. If it weren’t for those wild quotes on his bottles of soap, Bronner’s words might have faded from view decades ago.
Dr. Bronner, as he became best known, continued lecturing all over the world, regaling his audiences with his thoughts on everything from organics to government control and conspiracy theories. Despite his dubious mental state, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps became one of the first green businesses in the world, and is carried on by his family since his death in 1997.
Like others in the New Thought tradition, Emmanuel Bronner’s ideology asks us to challenge traditional religious structures. His vision of the brotherhood of man was pure in spirit, and carried on a love of unity and peace for the world. "Cleanliness next to Godliness" was also part of that vision, and today, in this age of mass media and technology, taking a shower might be only one of a handful of things we have to do manually. If you don’t have time to meditate, pondering the messages of the Universe with soap bottle wisdom could quite possibly be the next best thing.
Next: "Woman, heal thyself"